Elisa Bermudez studied communication and global journalism at Drexel University, she later obtained a master of arts in research journalism from Northeastern University. She has acquired a combination of news reporting experience and public relations for the non-profit sector where she had the opportunity to work closely with the local Hispanic community and cases of press freedom violations from Latin America. Her former employers include The Associated Press, Reporters Without Borders and Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Inc. Bermudez hopes her background in journalism and communications bring a non-fiction component to Spanish literature at the same time she learns more about literature, linguistics, cultural studies and pedagogy. Because she has always been interested in the field of humanities and communication at large, literature is not something unfamiliar in her life; in fact, what draw her to journalism was the exposure she received during childhood to all sorts of written material and art forms. Bermúdez has written few poems in English and Spanish (still in progress) and dived into photography where her predominant theme is people, culture and environment. Recently, she received the Bronze Award for the amateur category in the 2011 International Loupe Award based in Sidney, Australia. She is excited about joining the Hispanic Studies graduate program at Villanova because of the unique opportunity to expand her world beyond communications and journalism. Bermudez is confident that the program’s components in literature, linguistics, culture and pedagogy will complement beautifully to her background in communications. She is particularly interested in 20th century and modern Latin American literature, Hispanic-American literature, historical linguistics and colloquial speech. She is a founder member of Drexel’s Cultural Diversity Student Association (CDSA) and Casa de Venezuela. She’s also a member of Bryn Mawr Film Institute. Bermudez was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela but grew up in Caracas and spent nearly two years living in the Venezuelan eastern plains.
Lester Boj (currently on leave)
"I earned my BA in Creative Writing and Spanish from Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ. My work has included teaching languages at various levels, freelance writing, and clinical translation. The Hispanic Studies graduate program at Villanova is the perfect place for me to gain a deeper understanding of literary theory as well as getting better acquainted with the works of the Spanish speaking world. I’ve always been fascinated by Latin-American issues and influence and the courses offered here afford the chance to expand my knowledge. My passions have always been writing and teaching – at Villanova I get to do both with the support and knowledge of a wonderful faculty. “
I received my Bachelors of Arts in Spanish with a minor in Psychology at Union College in Schenectady, New York. I have always had an immense passion for language and culture and have been fortunate enough to travel to numerous places around the world to explore my deep fascination. From educating Honduran children in the mountains of Copán Ruinas, to working with the organization, One Laptop Per Child, in La Rioja, Argentina, to fostering former child laborers with teachings in English in Siem Reap, Cambodia, my worldly interests continue to intensify. Along with travel, extending my knowledge in Hispanic literature during my time at Union has provides the opportunity for additional growth. I look forward to continuing to expand upon my familiarity with the Spanish language, culture, and literature while here at Villanova.
Paola Andrea Gower (currently on leave)
received her Bachelor’s degree in Modern Languages from the University of Cauca in Colombia. Literature, politics, pedagogy and drama have played an important role in her life. She has always wanted to pursue a Master’s in one of these subjects to help complement her teaching profession. She additionally is working towards acquiring the ability to reveal the tense inadequacies that can be found in language through literature so that she may share them with her students. One of her main interests is Latin American writers, especially the authors that make part of magic realism. She also enjoys reading French playwrights and has a passion for the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s literary work. Paola Andrea takes delight in attending an institution like Villanova where there is a cordial atmosphere and diverse student body that receives a high quality education.
I am from Wheeling, West Virginia, a small river town about an hour southwest of Pittsburgh. Growing up I became acquainted with world geography and culture through the near-daily watching of global soccer matches, mainly from Europe and South America. It was not until college that my interest in other peoples and places manifested itself in the study of the Spanish language. I graduated from Muskingum University in 2011 with degrees in Spanish and International Affairs. The university afforded me many wonderful study abroad opportunities during my four years, allowing me to travel to many fascinating parts of the world.
I studied in Argentina and Spain during my undergraduate career and after graduation I moved back to Spain and have spent the past two years teaching English at the Universidad de Castilla-la Mancha in various capacities. I was also lucky to have the opportunity to write as a guest columnist for El Crisol de Ciudad Real, a current events and culture publication serving the province of Ciudad Real where I lived. I have developed a passion for the Spanish language and Spanish-speaking cultures and peoples over the past several years and want to continue to develop that passion in myself and help to foster it in others.
Elizabeth Leedy Krick
Elizabeth Leedy Krick studied Spanish and International Relations at Colgate University and later received a Masters in Teaching from the University of North Carolina. She is pursuing the Hispanic Studies program in order to enhance her teaching career. The professors at Villanova are each unique yet they share a passion for the subject matter which is clearly demonstrated through their teaching and interactions with students. The large range of courses within the program allows for students to pursue their own academic paths. It is a pleasure to attend class each week with other insightful students.
Desiree Maure comes to Villanova with her B.A. in Spanish and a k-12 teaching certificate from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. She also studied in Cuzco, Peru and lived in Mendoza, Argentina, which ignited her interest to pursue research opportunities abroad and further deepen her understanding of differences among socio-cultural systems in Latin America and others throughout the globe. By earning her M.A. in Hispanic Studies, Desiree hopes to further her professional goals to strengthen her geographic specialization and Spanish fluency, stimulate her teaching and promote cultural education and awareness. Her interests include 20th century Latin American literature and history, feminist thought and gender studies and the relationship between human rights, sustainable economic development and political stability in Latin America.
Isabel Moreno Caro
I was born in Madrid, Spain, the beautiful country of flamenco and tapas. I grew up listening to the poetry of Ruben Dario in a very artistic family and since I was a kid I was in love with literature and imagination; as a result I went to school to study Library Science at the same time I read without stopping the Beat Generation novelists and French Poets. Later I decided to get another degree in Spanish Language and Literature from the University Complutense of Madrid to read and write more and more. I am passionate about Latinoamerican culture and I dream about becoming a good literature researcher, professor and writer. I am fortunate to be able to work as a teaching assistant in Villanova University, and to have this incredible opportunity to learn so much from a different perspective.
I came to VU in the fall of 2008 and have thoroughly enjoyed my experiences here to date. My interests are Early Modern Spain (with a particular emphasis on books and reading in early modern culture) and in due course, Medieval studies. I'm hoping to take my skills to the doctoral level and further widen my knowledge of these areas of study.
Manuel Olmedo received a B.A in Hispanic Philology from Universidad de Sevilla in 2012, though he always showed a broader interest in the history of arts and culture. In 2010, he participated in the European Erasmus Program, studying visual arts, literature and cinema for one year at King’s College of London. In addition, he is also interested in music and its role in the fashioning of the self and society throughout history. Moreover, he plays several folk, classical, and early modern instruments, at an amateur level. Regarding literature, Manuel is mainly interested in the Spanish Golden Age - 16th and 17th centuries in both Europe and America – though he doesn´t limit himself to chronological or spatial frameworks. At Villanova University, he has received a Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowship, which let him research political institutions and literature through the analysis of the illustrations from a unique out-of-print re-contextualized free translation of Tasso´s Gerusalemme Liberata.
Ana Puchau de Lecea
I am very excited to introduce myself as a Teaching Assistant in the MA Hispanic Studies Program. I started studying at Universitat de Barcelona and graduated in Spanish Language and Literature from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Since graduating, I have developed my professional career between these two cities. Furthermore, my most important experience teaching Spanish was a Teaching Assistantship at Oberlin College in Ohio. There I could experience a different academic system and enjoy participating as a teacher, but also as a student. It is my personal belief that culture blends with the arts and I have always been curious about so many different areas: Literature, Linguistics, Psychology, and Performing Arts. I am sure this opportunity at Villanova University will let me improve my knowledge in all of them.
I received my BA in Social Science from UC Berkeley and a Masters degree in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. My mother was born in Barcelona and I have extended family in Spain so I am considered a heritage speaker. I was fortunate enough to spend one year of High School in Mallorca, Spain. I am currently on sabbatical from the Council Rock School District and I am pursuing the Hispanic Studies program in order to enhance my teaching career.
Kim was first exposed to Spanish in middle school, as a required class. Spanish was fun, but never something she seriously considered pursuing. Then, in 2000, Kim traveled to Barquisimeto, Venezuela where her interest in Spanish flared into a passion. She continued her studies of Spanish in high school and then college, obtaining a B.A. in Spanish and French from Susquehanna University in 2006. She has traveled to Spain (Andalucía), Chile (Santiago), and Argentina (Mar del Plata). Two years ago, Kim was introduced to her brother, who had been given up for adoption in Puerto Rico. His first language is Spanish, and it is that connection that strengthens their relationship.
Upon her college graduation, Kim worked for a non-profit organization, first as a bilingual secretary then as an assistant. She became a Teach for America corps member in 2009 and relocated to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas to teach in a school less than 12 miles from the Mexican border. She completed her two-year commitment with Teach for America, teaching Math and Spanish, and stayed for a third year before deciding to return to her home state to pursue her M.A. in Hispanic Studies. The unique program offered by Villanova—implementing culture, literature, AND pedagogy—is what attracted her to the prestigious university. The next two years will be a challenge, without a doubt, but it is one Kim is excited to undertake!
I come from a Jordanian-Palestinian Family. I graduated two years ago from University of Jordan majored in Modern Languages Spanish & English (language & literature). I always had a passion for languages and writing that with time grew within me. Having learnt about this program, I am confident in saying that it represents a unique and powerful opportunity for me to achieve my goals, to grow, and further to develop my passion for writing and teaching. I felt welcomed here in Villanova even before I arrived in the U.S. My experience so far had been outstanding , and I am very happy to be here and be part of the "family". Enjoying the journey.